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AMT '57 Chevrolet Slot Car kit review.


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#1 Jairus

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 06:25 AM

Received on my front step last night at 6:30 and I worked on it till 10:30 assembling the chassis and taking pictures. The following is my thoughts and a basic assembly review. That is part one. Part two will be later and involves mounting the body, paint and detailing. Part three will be a road test and part four... the "hop up"!

Initial look at the box art shows this to be beautiful! Vintage colors, no expense spared on printing and packaging.
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Parts under a blister just like the old days... and still hard to remove from same....
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Two types of window glass are provided: injection molded clear (including headlights) and vacuumformed and tinted full glass. This is handy as there is no provided interior details whatsoever.
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Decal sheet seems complete and is extremely well printed. Appear thin enough to disappear under clear coat... that is if I plan to go shiny. Frankly, I plan to go period dirt track.... but that is later.
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Little baggies of parts...
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Two piece guide? Some assembly required here....
In this day and age, why AMT engineers choose to re-invent the wheel I do not understand. But... it does go together with little fuss and seems like it'll work fairly well.
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Continued....

The guide is after all, patterned after Parma almost to the dimension. Nice that the threads go all the way down though eliminating the need for a threading tool. Parma item will not fit the chassis without modifications to the chassis as we will see later.
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Wheels are plastic/nylon material. No set screws. They press fit onto the axle like some of the 1/32 kits do.
Inside dimension just about perfect for a set of inserts. Tire are soft rubber and will provide fairly good traction with this motor. Front and rears are the same material and all four wheels same size.
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Motor has little markings and the magnets are no where near as strong as those in a TSR motor. However, spinning up on the tester shows it to have plenty of torque. This explains why it comes with a 3.75 to 1 ratio. The aluminum adaptor is there to convert the motor screws from vertical to horizontal. This is interesting to me. Why not simply make the chassis with horizontal holes in the first place?
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But... that means it fits this motor with no mods.... http://slotblog.net/...fault/smile.png
http://images34.fotk...P1011491-vi.jpg
This motor, btw, is in my hop up kit for part four!



Continued....

#2 62rebel

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 06:54 AM

aaaaaaannnnnd? can't wait for the rest of the story.....

#3 Jairus

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 07:15 AM

The chassis before:
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And after:
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With the adjustments and the wheel spacers, this chassis can fit almost any 1/24th scale model kit body.
But the spacers are not easy to cut. I tried cutting them with an exacto blade....
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But a cutoff wheel in the Dremel seems to work more quickly. The '57 Chevy required .15 front and .45 rear spacers by the way.
Using the vintage white nylon spacers would have been easier and more precise tho.
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I would say that it took me a good solid 2 hours to build as I took my time making sure everything went together well. The gears have me a bit worried. The set screw doesn't go deep enough so the gear rocks slightly. No way to set gear lash... a lot like Scalextric does with their 1:32 cars.

By the way... TSR motor will not fit.
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Clearance under the chassis is a hefty 5/32". Guide is positioned 1/4" behind the front axle. When it pivots the stops are unfortunately the lead wires. Don't think they will last long mounted there. Soldering them to the brass tabs sticking out seems more logical.
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Mounting and painting is next.

#4 fanofratfink

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 07:18 AM

Very,very cool. I will be watching this post till the end. Maybe go pick one of these up?:)

#5 plowboy

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 07:29 AM

I would love to have one of these,but there isn't a track anywhere near me that I'm aware of. :( Just out of curiosity,how much does one of these kits cost?

Edited by plowboy, 09 February 2012 - 07:30 AM.


#6 Jairus

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 07:41 AM

Depends on where you get it I suppose. I have heard retail prices ranging $50 to $60 for the complete kit. That is fairly comparable to other slot cars on the market. Parma's hard body chassis comes assembled at $39, but that is with-out the body. With model kits approaching the $25 dollar range.... you do the math.

#7 Dr. Cranky

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 07:51 AM

I would love to have one of these,but there isn't a track anywhere near me that I'm aware of. :( Just out of curiosity,how much does one of these kits cost?


Roger, I feel your pain. I'd love to build one of these and race it but we don't have a track anywhere near. Jairus, you really are crazy about this part of the hobby, and it's infectious. Thanks for the eye candy and the inspiration.

#8 Jairus

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:05 AM

Okay, mounting this one is no more difficult than any other hard body car. I went the simple route as you will see since my build-up is to be an actual racer and not just a shelf queen. The kit instructions suggest and provide double sided tape to mount the body. This would work fairly well, but for a racer... just will not do! A racer is always pulling the body off to make adjustments and the tape is pretty permanent.
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The body is set up using brass tubing under the lower quarters until a correct stance is achieved.
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Then, move the light like so....
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... and you can see the chassis mounting bracket. Use the Sharpie NOW!
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Drill holes in the body on the marks and run those screws home. Yeah, as a modeler it's pretty crude, but is the strongest mounting option and provides the quickest way to remove the body. Screws can be painted to match the body btw.
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#9 Jairus

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:06 AM

At this point it's a good idea to check clearances like tires to fenders and the like. If anything rubs, make chassis or spacer adjustments.
The car as you see it here weighs in at a flyweight of 143g. In my opinion (And Gregg mentioned this as well) it could do with some careful placement of lead, available at your local slot shop or via mail order.
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Instructions suggest trimming away some of the engine compartment for chassis clearance. I agree with this if one is mounting the body lower than stock looking like I did. It would also help lower the center of gravity. But the option is also there to superdetail this project with an opening hood and fully detailed engine compartment. Also, while the kit does not provide any sort of interior... one could be sourced from a well supplied stash of '57 Chevrolet bits with clearance cut out of the rear seat area to provide room for the motor. Driver figure also will need to be sourced.

This is my last post today as paint and details take longer to accomplish. Shooting primer next!
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Continued...

#10 62rebel

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:57 AM

thanks Jairus... that was delicious. mmmmore,please...

#11 Steven Zimmerman

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 03:24 AM

Jairus, where did you get that wire wheel insert ?....i have been hunting for wheels like that for a long time....'Z'

#12 Longbox55

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 01:20 PM

Jarius, I was looking at how you mounted the body to the chassis, and was wondering if a countersunk scew could be used instead? Or would the body be too thin to allow for that type to be used?

#13 Jairus

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 02:22 PM

Well guys, really busy with artwork right now but hoping I can find an hour this evening to do some body work.
Bill, counter sunk screws would work fine. The body is no thinner than any other AMT 1957 Chevy casting.

This is the look I'm going for...
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The body currently has a coat of "Plastakote" primer, but earlier I removed all the engine compartment walls and glued the hood shut with JB Weld.
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Also need to cut a flat plate for the interior and make a roll bar.... etc, etc.
Onward!
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Edited by Jairus, 13 February 2012 - 02:23 PM.


#14 Tom Setzer

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 03:48 AM

I will be using a PARMA Guide with copper Wire end clips. I will use a loop of .015 music wire soldered to the chassis, to keep the leedwires away from the front axle. You should make colars to reinforce the wheel hubs from plastic tubing, and glue them in place, before you mount the wheels to the axles. You should also clean the flah from the wheels, and true them before you mount the Tyres. I recomend Yellow dog tyres from Slot Car corner, He will match up the size of the original kit tyres, and his tyres give great grip( you will want hard zero grip tyres for the frounts). You should file all the edges of the chassis smooth, and slieghtly bevel them so they want dig into the track, both to improve handling, and to prevent damage to the track surface. When you setup the gears put a piece of cigarret rolling paper between them, and push the two gears together, and tighten the set screws/ adjust the axle spacers. after you have the spacing correct, oil the motor and axle bushings, put a small dab of rubbing compound on the gear teeth, and run the motor at 3-4 volts for three 5 minute periods. Then clean all of the rubbing compound off of the gears, clean out the motor with a good electricle motor cleaner and lub the gears with a very small amount of white lithium grease, and add a drop of bushing oil to the motor and axle bushings.
Mount the Body so that it has .063 clearance between it and the track. make sure that your guide moves freely arount it post, but make sure that there is no wobbly in the guide, and that it self centers using the leed wires to center it.
You Can get 1/24 lexan and card stock racing interiors from either the local Commercial Slot Car Track, or online Dealers, such as Professor Motor.
Make sure you put some super glue in the wheel hob before pressing the wheels onto the axles, and be very careful to makesure the wheels are straight. always true your tyres by running them against a flat surface containg a sheet of medium grit sand paper. Use a light touch here, you don't want to bind it up and burn out your motor.
I hope this will be of help to those who are going to purchase and build these kits

Edited by Tom Setzer, 19 February 2012 - 04:00 AM.


#15 Jairus

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 09:56 AM

Prepaired my "modification kit" as posted:
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Pro-track wheels
Parma guide, braids, gear
ProSlot motor
Professor Motor repop Russkit drivers head and chassis lead, Lancer driver station sourced from P.M.
Drill blank 1/8" axles


And some modifications to the chassis:
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Wish I had time to play with it... -_-

#16 Jairus

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 03:42 PM

I guess the only way to "have time" is to make time so... after burning out on the current projects on the bench, I changed tact and pulled this one back out of the box.
Ground away at the guide holder so it could fit a decent flag by Parma and a set of standard pickup braids.

The front axle holes fit a set of 3/32" axle ball bearing races with-out modification.
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Out back however, it took a stepped drill to open up the holes to 1/4" in order to accept 1/8" axle bearings. However in this case, since the rear end was so narrow I used a set of "Duffy made" extensions soldered into the openings to extend the track of the bearings a little wider.
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Still, the ride height under the chassis screws is quite a bit above the minimum 1/16" track clearance. Looks like I might need to turn down the rear wheels a bit... or mount the rear chassis lead weight UNDER the frame, thus keeping the CGI low as possible.
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At any rate, here is the finished, modified chassis ready for the track. (Think the paint on the body is pretty much cured, time to decal and finish this puppy!)
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B)

#17 rv1963

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 05:41 PM

Great review Jairus i was curious about these kits looks decent i like the steel chassis don't like the guide flag setup.

Edited by rv1963, 02 March 2012 - 05:43 PM.


#18 Jairus

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 04:54 PM

The chassis is not bad. It's kind of a mix of vintage and new tech with a compromise to allow the same tooling to work for both 1/24 and 1/32 scale.
Wish I could find the time to get the body detailing done tho....

#19 Dave Mikrut

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 12:20 AM

The light an the Sharpy tip is terrific! I wish I had thought of that 40 years ago! Great work on your chassis mods.

Edited by Dave Mikrut, 24 July 2012 - 12:21 AM.


#20 Terror

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 08:45 AM

I got hooked on this review. I just bought the Nova kit.Lets see the paint man